"Other" European States Term Sheet

Europe Between the Two World Wars:
Great Britain, France, and the
Successor States of Eastern Europe
After some initial recovery, Great Britain’s economy struggled in the 1920s; in
1926 a General Strike occurred; the Labour Party emerged and became, along
with the Conservative Party, one of the major political parties; though the
Depression certainly hurt the Economy, Great Britain avoided disaster or violent
change in their political system; the Empire showed signs of breaking up (Canada
and Australia enjoyed greater independence, part of Ireland became a separate
state, and India began the move to self-government)
Stanley Baldwin (1867-1947)—conservative Prime Minister for much of the
Ramsey MacDonald (1866-1937)—first Labour Prime Minister (this signals the
effective end of the Liberal Party); attempted to enact extensive social reform
General Strike of 1926—after coal miners’ wages were cut, they went on strike;
ultimately the strike spread to other vocations, but the strikers capitulated (the
government did, however, provide more services for workers after the General
The National Government—a coalition of Labour, Conservative, and Liberal
ministers that attempted to “deal with” the Depression by raising taxes,
abandoning the gold standard, and adopting protective tariffs
Lacked political stability during the 1920s (27 different cabinets); Conservatives
dominated from 1920-1924 and 1926-1931; 1920s generally prosperous for
France—the Depression did not hit until 1931; after 1931 political tension
between the Left and Right heated up; in 1936 the Popular Front took over; the
1930s were hard for France—they struggled economically and there was deep
political division
The Blue Horizon Chamber—numerous members of the military elected to the
Chamber of Deputies (very conservative—though Clemenceau too lenient)
The Little Entente—between Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia (France
made an alliance with these states and Poland)
The Treaty of Rapallo—between Russia and Germany (secretly established
military cooperation between the countries in terms of training—violates Treaty of
Raymond Poincaré (1860-1934)—very nationalistic Prime Minister; when
Germany defaulted on its reparation payments he sent French troops to occupy
the Ruhr (the English did not like this and the move hurt the French economy)
Edouard Herriot (1872-1957)—in 1924 a coalition of leftist parties took over; they
recognized the Soviet Union and were not as heavy-handed in dealing with
Action Française and Croix de Feu—radical right-wing groups, predecessors of
the Fascists and Nazis
Léon Blum (1872-1950)—important French socialists who headed the Popular
Popular Front—a coalition of Left-wing parties dedicated to social reform; won
the election of 1936
In the wake of the demise of Russia, Austria, and Germany (in World War I),
several “successor states” were created in Eastern Europe; these new states
experimented with liberal democracy but they also faced economic difficulties and
the various nationalities (and ethnic groups within these states) were often at odds
with one another;
***In 1926 Josef Pilsudski (1857-1935) led a coup that created a military
***Led by Thomas Masaryk (a well known scholar), Czechoslovakia was the
exception to the successor states of Eastern Europe: democracy thrived and the
Czechoslovakian economy was relatively strong (and had a strong industrial base)
***Bela Kun (1885-1937) led a short-lived communist state after World War I—
he was defeated and Hungary was ruled by Miklós Horthy (1868-1957) in an
authoritarian manner
***We will talk about this with Germany—Austria was dominated by
authoritarian groups and its economy struggled
***Was dominated by the Serbs (the authoritarian rulers were Serbian kings)—
ethnic tension between the various ethnicities was high
***Royal dictatorship
***Royal dictatorship
***Military dictatorship